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1829.] Obituary-John were confined apart, until the heretical propositions which their accusers pretended to find in their answers should be submitted to them, in order that they might examine and retract them. When Feneberg had read those which he was said to have maintained, he saw that they were entirely different from his sentiments. They made him say quite the contrary of what he had really said; and he therefore made no difficulty in condemning these propositions. It is probable, that the ecclesiastical commissioners who were employed to examine him, wished, at any rate, to satisfy the enemies of religion, and thought that they should succeed by this means.

After some further delay, Feneberg was permitted to return to his parish, and he immediately wrote a short treatise, in which he examined the motives of the conduct both of his enemies and of his judges. It is impossible not to be deeply affected with the spirit of Christian charity and mildness which runs throughout this little tract. His pacific character could not however disarm his enemies. He was incessantly tormented by them. Sometimes he was compelled to dismiss his curates; sometimes forbidden 'to receive at his own house those of his parishioners who came to him for instruction or advice. He was exposed to perpetual vexations. The real cause of all these persecutions was hatred of the fundamental truths of Christianity. "My enemies," said he, "reproach me with not preaching active faith; but faith, in order to become active, must first exist. Undoubtedly we must look for good fruit, and that is the principal object; but how ean a tree produce it if it have no root. Life must precede activity; and because we apply to religion this truth, which they allow in every other case, they are angry and call it mysticism."

Although Feneberg anxiously desired to fulfil all his duties, he was prevented by the loss of his limb from much bodily activity. On this account he had every day many hours at his disposal, which he devoted to study. He made long extracts from the authors which he read, writing down the thoughts which occurred to his mind; and thus filled thirty small volumes in octavo. Among the pieces which he himself composed, many may be noticed which refer to the events of his own life. Some of them bear that stamp of originality of character which was peculiar to him. Thus we read, "Persons speak every day with bitterness and contempt of credulity: why does not our Lord once mention it, and why does he constantly warn us against incredulity?" Another passage is entitled, The three birth-days. "The children of God have three birthdays," said he. They have, first, their natural birth; when they weep, but their

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Michael Feneberg.

451

parents rejoice. Then, by regeneration,
they rise from a state of nature to the life
of God, to the light of his grace: then
again they often weep bitterly; but the
angels who are in heaven rejoice over a
sinner who repenteth. At last, comes
death, which the early Christians consi-
dered as the true birth-day of martyrs and
saints; and here, again, there are tears
and grief but when all is over, joy and
eternal life begin, and there are no more
tears for the children of God."

It was not permitted to Feneberg to
labour until his death at Seeg where his
ministry had been so greatly blessed. He
was poor, and had been obliged to con-
tract some debts, which were a constant
burden upon his mind. He feared that
he should die before he could pay them,
because it was impossible for him to eco-
and
nomize in the village where he lived;
however painful might be the sacrifice, he
determined, for the sake of his creditors,
to accept in 1805 the cure of Væhringen,
near Ulm, where his income would be
larger. As he advanced in age, this fear
made him unceasingly retrench his ex-
penses; and at length, he even denied
himself the little wine which he had
been accustomed to drink at his meals,
in order to repay gradually the sums
which he had borrowed. His trust in
God was unshaken; and he found him
He would relate the follow-
faithful whenever he prayed to him with
ing as an illustration :-He had one day
given a distressed traveller two crowns,
all that he then possessed. Some hours
afterwards, oppressed by want, and tor-
mented by the idea of his debts, he
prayed to God with simplicity and filial
confidence, with especial allusion to the
text, He that hath pity upon the poor, lend-
eth unto the Lord, and he will restore him
fourfold. A short time afterwards, he
received a present of 200 florins, which
the person to whom he had rendered the
service had obtained for him from a rich

earnestness.

man.

It may be enough to say of such narratives, that the providence of God ought to be acknowledged in all things; but that the particular application of the doctrine requires great caution and Christian sobriety.

This

Feneberg finished at Væhringen a German translation of the New Testament, which he had begun many years before, and to which he had added notes. work is still in manuscript; for when he was going to print it, the German New Testament of Withmann appeared, the low price of which rendered it accessible to the poorest Roman-Catholics. may infer how important Feneberg considered the study and distribution of the sacred Scriptures among the people, from the long continued labour which he devoted to facilitate it.

We

During the latter years of his life, 3 N 2

Feneberg was afflicted with a severe complaint in his eyes. He was obliged to diminish his duties, and was grieved to see that his parishioners could not derive so much benefit as they had formerly done from his ministry; but his death, which took place on the 12th of October, 1812, was an important lesson for them, and a source of much religious edification. When he felt that the time of his departure was at hand, he wished to receive the holy communion some days afterwards, he received it again. He entreated those who

were about him to pardon any thing in which he had offended them. Those beautiful words of St. Paul, "My desire is to depart, and to be with Christ," were often on his lips; and they undoubtedly expressed the feelings of his heart. He began an affecting exhortation to his servants, which he was unable to finish; for being obliged to break off, he fell into a lethargic slumber, which lasted forty-eight hours, and from which he awoke no

more.

VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.

THE Russian arms have made considerable progress. The important fortress of Silistria has been obliged to capitulate, and the way is open to Schumla or the Balkan. It does not appear to what extent the other powers of Europe feel inclined to allow Russia and Turkey to pursue their present course without interference. In reference, however, to Greece, their determination is avowed; and we trust before long to hear of the success of their plenipotentaries in Turkey, in concluding the arrangements for the freedom of that long-oppressed country.

ITALY.-An edict has been issued by the Inquisitor-general of Romagno, under the sanction of the new bishop of Rome, which shews that the spirit of ecclesiastical tyranny has not abated, though we firmly believe that, under the present circumstances of the world, there is not much to fear from its influence. The edict remarks in substance, that "Desirous that the holy Catholic faith should be preserved in purity, the inquisitor-general commands that every person shall, under pain of excommunication and other punishments decreed by the canons of sovereign pontiffs, denounce to him or to his vicars within a month, all heretics, or those suspected of heresy, their support ers and defenders; also those who practise Jewish, Pagan, or Mohammedan ceremonies; all apostates from the pure Catholic faith; those who invoke the devil, or have ever taken part in the operations of magic, necromancy, enchantments, divinations, &c.; all who utter blasphemies against God or the saints, or, above all, against the holy Virgin; those who conspire against the Catholic religion in secret societies, or who commit any outrage against the holy images; those who marry after making vows of celibacy; those who endeavour to dissuade repenting heretics from returning to the Catholic faith; those who possess books containing heresies, or treating of religion without the

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authority of the pope; those who read or have read books of necromaney, magic, enchantments, &c., or who print the same." Besides these denunciations, every person is commanded to make known the names of all those who offend in any manner against the decrees of councils, &c. The informations must be clear and positive, the Holy Office engaging to keep them secret. And "because the devil," says the edict, "to prevent so pious an act in defence of God and the church, will denounce the informers as traitors, accusers, and spies, the inquisition beseeches the faithful to disregard these devilish errors by recalling the words of the Gospel, Ye cannot serve God and mammon. The inquisition further commands the faithful to inform against themselves, if they are guilty of any of the crimes enumerated. An interdict has just been issued, excommunicating all the inhabitants of Imola, who are forbidden to partake of the holy sacrament; and their churches are shut, in order that they may not have sacred places in which to put up their prayers to God, because of a misdemeanour committed upon the furniture and hotel of the archbishop of Imola. The above decree contains, in an appendix, other items; among which it is forbidden to publish any book whatever, without the authority of the Holy Office: no foreign books may be brought into the country without special licence, and even then they may be read only by the strangers who bring them. Those papal decrees are to be in full force which forbid all communication, of whatever description, between Christians and Jews.

We fear nothing for the cause of true religion, from this absurd and impolitic tyranny of the papal church. The reception which these ecclesiastical edicts have met with, even in Rome itself, may be inferred from the following passages from the French journals.—

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"The publication of the first edict has been the signal and the prelude to acts of the pontifical government, which would lead to the belief than an attempt is about to be made to revive the hateful administration of Pius VII., perhaps even the tyranny of Clement XI., a descendant, like him, of the house of Albani, of that arrogant pontiff who once wrote to the bishops of France, Respect and execute my commands, and beware of discussing or judging them.' The edict of the inquisitor Angarani, the bull prohibiting secret societies, and the interdict of the town of Imola, have succeeded each other at very short intervals, and have revealed the real designs in contemplation-the true intentions concealed under the appearance of a love for the fine arts, which always seduces the Roman people, and leads them to tolerate the utmost assumptions of absolute power.

"Now, however, as if by an electric shock, discontent has become general throughout the states of the church, and has manifested itself in the most unequivocal manner. In Rome, no sooner has the edict appeared than it has been ignominiously torn down in the Champ de Flore, and from the churches of St. Peter and St. John. It remains, indeed, only on the gates of the Vatican, under the protection of a hundred of the pontifical guard! At Imola no persons considered themselves affected by the denunciations fulminated against them. They consider it generally as an excommunication, which, to use the words of the Emperor Joseph II., falls on him who hurled it, rather than on those whom he designed to strike.' For the rest, a rich harvest amply recompenses those against whom this headlong measure has been adopted; and though the pope might profess that his pontifical thunders would deprive them of the rains of heaven, they have nevertheless the fruits of the earth in great abundance.

"Add to this indifference on the part of the inhabitants of Imola, the menacing language of Pasquino in Rome, and you will form a correct idea of the sentiments entertained by the people of these acts of the pontifical government. You are aware that the sarcasms of Pasquino, like the groanings of Vesuvius, always announce some explosion at hand; there is an intention therefore, it is said, of forcing this statue to silence, by surrounding him with sentinels. Two days ago the police found the following ominous line from Alfieri, expressing all the turbulence of the republican soul-We are slaves to be sure, but we madden at the idea of being so.""

SOUTH AMERICA.-A commissioner has arrived in Columbia from France, to form

a treaty of peace. He expresses the most cordial interest of his government in the independence and prosperity of the SouthAmerican continent, especially of Columbia. How much blood had been spared, how much evil prevented, had the govern ments of Europe more early stretched forth the hand of peace towards these infant states, which are still deeply suffering from the effects of their recent exertions in achieving their independence. Our own country had first the honour of all the European nations of discharging this duty; and notwithstanding much agitation continues in some of the new states, we see, no reason to wish the result of the experiment otherwise than it has been. A foundation at least is laid for just laws, public liberty, the promotion of education, and we doubt not for the ultimate, and we trust speedy, extension of true religion, by means of Protestant instructors, and the Sacred Scriptures, which had been expelled under the ancient system.

Ireland, we grieve to say, is in a state of much agitation; the immediate pretext for which has arisen from the recurrence of the period in which the Orange societies perform their annual celebrations. We are neither surprised nor alarmed at the circumstance; for it was natural to expect that after the late legislative measures much excitement would remain, and that, in some quarters at least, neither party would at once lay aside its long-cherished animosities. Some lives we lament to say, have been lost in these conflicts; and the lord lieutenant has been obliged to issue a proclamation, forbidding all such political assemblages.-The election for Clare was fixed for the 30th of July. Mr. O'Connell appears likely to be elected without opposition.

The inhabitants of the Mauritius have displayed a turbulent spirit, and would seem almost prepared for impotent rebellion, because the governor has wished to carry into effect the benevolent and most reasonable injunctions of the homegovernment, relative to the appointment of a protector of slaves. In no colony was a protector more wanted, as our readers have recently seen in the fearful account of Mauritius slavery in the Antislavery Reporter. This obstinate spirit of resistance throughout the slave colonies, to every effort to better the condition of their bondsmen, cannot, in the present state of public opinion in this country, be permitted to frustrate the hopes of the friends of humanity; but it will, we trust, have the effect of opening the eyes of those who profess to think that the colonists are really in earnest in their wishes to co-operate in this work of Christian mercy.

SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.

BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.

An abstract of the last Report of the society has been prepared, which we shall have much satisfaction in appending to one of our future Numbers, convinced that the simple narrative of its proceedings is the best refutation of any unfounded charges which have been urged against the society, and the most powerful vindication of its claims to the cordial support of all who are anxious for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ. What Christian can peruse this interesting document without unfeigned gratitude to the Author of every good and perfect gift, who is thus widely irradiating the world with the sacred beams of Divine truth, which under the lifegiving influences of his Holy Spirit shall accomplish its intended purposes for the conversion, edification, and salvation of immortal souls? The Monthly Extracts appended to our present Number contain much miscellaneous information, illustrative of the beneficial operations of the society. The Duchess of Beaufort, as president of the Ladies' Female Hibernian School Society, applies for aid in behalf of 212 schools, containing 9487 scholars. What a blessing, both that such claims can be proffered, and that fountains have been opened for the supply of them. Dr. Pinkerton writes from the continent of Europe; Mr. Barber from the Levant; several missionaries from India, and Dr. Milner from America; and all concur in shewing the progress which the word of God is making in the earth. Dr. Milner's short communication is a magnificent document. How would prophets and righteous men of old, how would our own venerated martyrs and reformers, have rejoiced to hear of facts like these! And shall not our hearts glow within us while we contemplate them; and shall not our prayers and exertions be enlarged far beyond all that we have yet ventured to ask, or even to think? Oh that the word which has such free course throughout the world may be glorified in the hearts of men, and be a powerful instrument in the hands of God, for building up the spiritual kingdom of the Redeemer!

ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY.

The Reporter for this month embraces several detached topics. First, a reply to Sir Robert Farquhar, who has been so ill advised as to provoke a renewed investigation into his conduct, in the matter of slavery, while governor of the Mauritius. It is not the fault of the abolitionists that their cause is of necessity often mixed up with personal details; for, while slavery is suffered to exist, it will find abettors and defenders; and even persons not perhaps naturally cruel may be implicated in the system till they learn to forget its enormity, and even to vituperate those who oppose it. Sir Robert's hard words will not, however, blot out the stubborn facts detailed by the Reporter, or reconcile the British public to a system so frightfully inhuman as that of Mauritius slavery; the horrors of which, as proved in a recent Reporter (see our Number for January), must still ring in the ears, and thrill through the hearts, of our readers. The second article of the Reporter contains a notice of a West-Indian legislative document, intended triumphantly to vindicate the assembly of Jamaica against the objections taken by his Majesty's government to the slave law of 1826, particularly with reference to the clauses about missionaries and religious teachers. This vindicatory document has, however, been prudently suppressed by the West-India interest, on its arrival in this country, though enough is collected by the Reporter to shew its character. Will it be believed that a committee of the Jamaica parliament should gravely report, "That the principal object of the Sectarians in Jamaica is to extort money from their congregations by every possible pretext; to obtain which, recourse has been had to the most indecent expedients: That in order to further this object, and to gain an ascendancy over the Negro mind, they inculcate the doctrines of equality and the rights of man; they preach and teach sedition even from the pulpit, and by misrepresentations and falsehood endeavour to cast odium upon all the public authorities of the island, not even excepting the representative of majesty itself: That the consequences have been abject poverty, loss of comfort, and discontent among the slaves frequenting their chapels, and deterioration of property to their masters: That therefore the interference of the missionaries between the master and the slave is dangerous, and incompatible with the political state of society in this island; and recommend to the house to adopt the most positive and exemplary enactments to restrain them?" No well-informed man can read these allegations without perceiving at once that they are utterly mendacious: they are, however, highly valuable in one respect, as a virtual attestation to the enormities of West-Indian slavery, and the beneficial effects of missionary labours among the slaves. To preach simple Christianity is to inculcate sedition. What must be the state of society where such a remark holds good; and where the faithful teacher of the Gospel is considered the worst foe to the community! We are happy, however, to perceive that, amidst the almost unmitigated darkness of West-India bondage, a few gleams of light break in, or rather are forced in,

1829.]

Auti-Slavery Society.

which give us hopes of the dawn of a brighter day. The Reporter mentions three recent instances in which the government have most honourably opposed the unjust proceedings of our slave colonies; the first, in refusing to rescind the Berbice ordinance for allowing slaves to purchase their own freedom; the second, by the ordinance for rescuing the Coloured natives of South Africa (not being slaves) from the oppressions to which they have been of late years exposed; the third, by extending to the island of St. Lucia the Trinidad order for abolishing all civil disabilities imposed upon free persons on the ground of their colour. The British government has but to pursue this humane and equitable course to its just extent, to secure brighter and more hallowed laurels than were won even in the field of Waterloo itself. The breach has been made; let not. the friends of the unhappy slave cease their exertions till the citadel is won, and the doors of the prison-house are thrown open for the liberation of the captive. Let us gladly accept all we can procure in the way of partial amelioration; but let the resolve be firm and persevering, never to shrink in the cause till slavery is abolished; till the evil is subverted, which it is impossible satisfactorily to reform.-We have felt so much impressed with the remarks of Dr. Andrew Thomson on this subject, in a discourse on slavery, and an appendix to it, in his recent volume of sermons, that we shall transcribe a few passages for the instruction of those readers who may feel inclined to palliate, or dally with, the enormities which they are called upon as men and Christians to abolish. We embrace the occasion also to recommend the whole volume to the careful perusal of our readers. It is characterized throughout by great force, ability, and originality, and does great honour both to the intellect and the piety of the reverend author. The zealous and uncompromising writer remarks:

'I have no hesitation in professing myself an advocate for the immediate emancipation of slaves.

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In maintaining the propriety and justice of such a measure, I will not enter the lists with men who, professing to be more enlightened than their fellows on all points of theology, and dogmatising with more than the confidence of Apostles, can bravely defend slavery as a right thing-not to be condemned and abolished-but rather to be tolerated, countenanced, continued-merely because they are pleased to call it a type of the subjection which is due to Christ from his people, and as a great ordinance of God for preaching that subjection to the church. I will not argue with men, however eloquent and however good, who will palin upon me such an absurd and unscriptural dictum, and because I refuse to take it as Gospel, on authority no better than human, will denounce me as one of those who are in a state of profound ignorance and rebellious feeling.' I will not argue with men who can gravely and dictatorially speak of a slave-holder as the standing type over all the world of Christ, the Lord both of the election and the reprobation, and of the poor slaves as standing types over all the world of the reprobation; while those who serve the same master, but are free, are standing types of the election. I will not, I cannot argue with men who can indulge in such raving, and not only demand a hearing for it as if it were sober sense, but insist upon our unreserved adoption of it, under the penalty of being found utterly unacquainted with the Bible, and guilty of joining in insurrection against God. Rather than argue with such men, I would encounter the most bigotted slave-driver in the West Indies, who founds not his creed upon his own infallible interpretation of the infallible oracles of Divine mercy, but upon views which faith in these oracles may at once and altogether subvert, or which may undergo a beneficial change by deeper consideration and more lengthened experience. With neither class, however, would I be very willing to engage in dispute, seeing that with neither would it be easy to agree in any common ground where we might stand and reason, or, rather, seeing that they and I differ toto cælo as to the essential nature and demerit of slavery. I am to be understood as proceeding on the principle contended for in the discourse to which this note is affixed; namely, that slavery is condemned by religion, or, in other words, is immoral, and upon that principle I plead for the immediate and total abolition of slavery."

"Instead of enlarging farther on the ground of expediency as supporting immediate abolition, I would found my pleading for that measure on the principles of moral justice, or religious obligation. 1 do not contend with those who maintain that slavery is not a violation of these principles. But on those who acknowledge that it is, I would urge the inconsistency of their conduct in still ranking themselves along with the gradual abolitionists, and I cannot but express my surprise that so many of them should fall into this inconsistency. I address myself to those who profess to be Christians, and to take their maxims and rules of conduct from the Bible, and I ask them whether they believe that slavery implies sin on the part of those who impose it on their fellow-creatures? If they answer in the negative, I say again, that with such I am not at present expostulating or reasoning. But if they answer in the affirmative, and allow that moral guilt attaches to the system of slavery, then I would have them to explain the grounds on which they would justify perseverance in that system, or defend themselves for giving it their countenance and support? Were we consulting about the propriety of terminating any commercial or political arrangement, there might be

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